If you take a trip to Charleston, harbor cruises may be on your agenda. They are a great way to learn more about this quaint coastal South Carolina town. There are several companies in Charleston that offer harbor cruises, on a variety of ships, so it's pretty easy to find one that suits your fancy.
Ships that Offer Charleston Harbor Cruises
The following are popular Charleston Harbor cruise options:
You can check out the Charleston area from the deck of an 84-foot tall sailboat. The Schooner takes two-hour tours from Aquarium Wharf to Fort Sumter and back. You can take a daytime sail, a sunset sail or a nighttime sail. If you'd like, you can help the crew hoist the sail at the beginning of the journey. Unlike some other cruise companies, this one has a varying route. This is because the ship's direction is somewhat determine by the direction of the winds. Schooner sailings accommodate up to 49 passengers.
The Carolina Belle is an 80-foot vessel that has two decks: the observation deck and the main salon. The observation deck is perfect for seeing the sights in the open air. The main salon is climate controlled and has large windows. When you take a 90-minute tour on the Carolina Belle you get to see many popular landmarks, including Fort Sumter, the historic St. Michael's Episcopal Church, the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge and Fort Moultrie. The ship sails from the Maritime Center dock.
Charleston Water Taxi
The Charleston water taxi is a good place to view pelicans and dolphins and see all of the action in the harbor and on the Ravenel Bridge. You can also see Waterfront Park, Castle Pinkney and the Patriots Point Naval Museum. The taxi runs from Mt. Pleasant to Downtown Charleston. The taxi runs daily, except in cases of inclement weather. You can board it at Charleston Maritime Center (on the Charleston side) and at Patriots Point in Mt. Pleasant. The ride takes approximately 30 minutes. If you'd like to see more, you can book the ship for your group and arrange a private charter cruise for up to 40 guests.
The Spirit of Carolina
If you'd like to go on a dinner cruise, the Spirit of Carolina is a great option. It has two indoor dining areas and a full-service galley. This fancy ship is quite different from the others. It is designed with high class in mind. It has tall ceilings, oriental rugs and bay windows. A cruise on the Spirit of Carolina takes three hours. While on the ship, you can choose from a three course or four course gourmet dinner. Note that alcoholic drinks and dessert are not included in the base price. When you're finished eating, you can enjoy music and dancing. To catch the dinner cruise, head to the Patriots Point Maritime Museum.
Other Cruise Options in Charleston
In addition to these Charleston Harbor cruises, you can arrange for a private sailing on one of the many charter vessels in the area. By doing so you can truly make your excursion in this beautiful city your own.